Dr. Mansfield describes a CPAP machine and if it helps patients with sleep apnea.
You know, CPAP machine, or a BiPAP machine as they are called, are basically small boxes that create positive pressure with inspiration/expiration. You essentially wear a mask, very much like a fighter pilot mask, over your face or a pair of pillows that go into your nostrils or a little mask over your nose and they are strapped to your head very much like a fighter pilot’s mask would be strapped.
As you breathe in and you breathe out these machines generate pressure of air systems, and if you think about it when you are breathing with pressure being pushed on to the windpipe it prevents it from collapsing. By preventing it from collapsing you prevent the obstruction. By preventing the obstruction you prevent the apnea, and these masks are very effective.
The problem comes in there with patients who have blockages of the nose, who are trying to wear nasal masks, for example. When the nose is blocked the nasal mask won’t work effectively. The resistance is too high. So as a result the patients will complain of a dry nose, a bleeding nose, a blocked nose, inability to use the machine or waking up with the machine off their face, or their performance may be two or three hours at night rather than the eight hours that they need, and most importantly, CPAP is like glasses. When they are on, they are on; when they are not, they are not. So if you are not wearing it, you are not getting the effects of it.
So there are some issues with trying to be maximally complied with CPAP that are very difficult, and for those patients that have great difficulties using a machinery, they are often candidates for surgery to make the machinery more comfortable, more usable or even for surgical cures.
About Dr. Mansfield, M.D.:
At the Senta Clinic, Dr. Perry Mansfield specializes in diseases related to head and neck oncology. Nationally recognized leader in skull base disorders, Dr. Mansfield created and developed one of the premiere centers for skull base surgery in the Southwestern United States. His role as a head and neck oncologist focuses on tumors of the anterior and middle skull base, such as squamous cell carcinomas and other disorders of salivary glands and sinuses.